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N. Idaho man awaits new trial in road-rage case

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) _ A northern Idaho man who was freed
from prison for six days after his second-degree murder conviction
was overturned is back in custody awaiting a new trial.
Jonathan Wade Ellington, of Hayden, reported Wednesday to the
Kootenai County Jail and is being held on a $1 million bond.
Ellington, 50, was released from state prison on Friday after his
conviction was vacated, his attorney said.
First District Judge John Mitchell then signed an order saying
Ellington should report to jail and he turned himself in, the
Spokesman-Review reports.
Ellington was sentenced to 25 years for second-degree murder and
15 years each on two counts of aggravated battery charges for
running over a woman during what was described as a road-rage
encounter on New Year's Day in 2006.
He was 45 when Vonette Lee Larsen, 41, was struck and killed in
Athol.
Ellington was accused of driving the vehicle that hit her and a
car carrying her two daughters. Larsen died of massive head trauma.
During the chaotic incident, Larsen's husband fired a .44-caliber
handgun at Ellington's car.
The Idaho Supreme Court unanimously ruled last month that
Ellington should get a new trial, citing prosecutorial misconduct
and the likelihood that an Idaho State Police officer committed
perjury.
In the 32-page ruling, the justices wrote the Kootenai County
prosecutor engaged in misconduct during the trial, in part by
engaging in improper questioning meant to turn the jury against
Ellington.
They also concluded that a veteran Idaho State Police officer,
Cpl. Fred Rice, who served as a witness for the prosecution, gave
testimony that conflicted with statements on an accident
reconstruction he'd made in previous court cases and contradicted
training materials Rice had personally prepared.
The case is headed back to Idaho's 1st District Court and a
status hearing has been scheduled for Monday. Ellington's attorney, Anne Taylor, said she will seek to reduce
the amount of his bond, though Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry
McHugh is expected to object and said he will request that the bond
amount remain at $1 million.


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